A mother of a rather excited 8-year-old budding collector brought his prize cent to me recently. I anticipated it would be common. What she brought was an Extremely Fine 1969-S doubled-die Lincoln cent, which he had picked from her change. All the diagnostics were correct.
One of the complaints I hear from collectors is that there is nothing of value to find in circulation. This proves otherwise. However, ask yourself if you collect as a hobby or a way to build wealth? Building wealth through circulating coins is like buying a lottery ticket. You are looking for something for nothing. Collectors as well as investors who trade or purchase coins have a much greater opportunity to build a nice collection that can have significant value.
The discovery cent the eight-year-old found proves you can still find value in your change. The greater question is whether you will go a step further, continuing to collect through trading and buying. What you can anticipate finding in change are some modern error coins such as Presidential dollars missing the edge lettering, but there hasn’t been a truly rare date coin issued in a long time.
Building a significant collection takes time and usually takes money. This young collector has invested his time. Will he graduate to investing his money as well? When is the best time to buy? You can’t time the market any more than you can time the stock market. The time to buy is always going to be now.